Watching Out for Kids



As 2007 now gets rolling into its second month, has published its second annual "10 Kids' Health Issues to Watch." The issues chosen represent a wide range of concerns:

· Health Care 2.0: From e-prescribing to disease blogs, advances in technology are rapidly transforming the quality of health care and the way families access it. However, it will be more important than ever for doctors to work with patients to ensure that the information derived from the array of media outlets is relevant and appropriate for children.

· Obesity: With nearly one-third of American kids and teenagers overweight or at risk of becoming so, the obesity epidemic must be battled beyond the homefront.

· Drawing the Line Online: A parent's responsibility for a child's safety takes on a whole new meaning in this age of wired kids and teens. The networked world further complicates the existing generational divide, as young people are technologically savvier than their parents.

· Immunizations — New Safeguards for Kids: The expanding array of shots and the rising costs associated with them could make paying for immunizations more of a fiscal concern.

· Tapping Into Stem-Cell Potential: Scientists and doctors are learning more about roles stem cells have in treating certain human diseases.

· Keeping Healthy Foods Safe: With nutritional experts predicting more produce contamination cases, parents will need to take more responsibility for the healthfulness and safety of not only food placed on the table, but food eaten outside the home, too.

· Coping With Health-Care Costs: As financial pressure continues to mount on the health-care system, poor families won't be the only ones feeling the burden. Many families with health insurance will likely see increases in their premiums.

· Staying Connected During the Teen Years: As more is understood about what makes young people tick, light is being shone on how parents can stay connected and involved.



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